Weak government leads to weak leaders; if we want strong government we need to ensure that coalitions are a thing of the past.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Pogroms no exception
Sir, – Following the description of the pogrom in Aden in December 1947, “Paradise lost” (Cover, May 9) cites Dani Goldsmith as saying: “In fact, it was the only place in the Muslim world that this happened to the Jews.”
I can only assume that there is a typographical error since, such pogroms were the rule in the Arab world rather than the exception. For example, a perusal of Encyclopedia Judaica (1972) just on Syria (15:646) and Egypt (6:500) documents the destruction, looting and killing of Jewish communities in those countries.
The statement is misleading and perturbing. I trust you will correct the false impression it may have left on your readers.
RUTH SHALEV, Jerusalem
Sir, – Pogroms broke out throughout the Arab countries long before and after 1948: In Egypt, in 1945 and 1948; and in 1945 in Libya. The same occurred in North Africa, though the worst attacks there took place in the 1950s.
In a few weeks’ time we will mark the anniversary of the of the bloody pogrom that was unleashed on the Jews of Baghdad on Shavuot 1941.
Known as the farhud, Muslim mobs raced through the Jewish quarter raping, murdering and looting. Hundreds of Jews were killed and over 1,000 injured, and some 900 homes were destroyed.
The writer is a former executive director of the Israel Academic Committee on the Middle East and has written and lectured extensively on the subject.
Alternative needed
Sir, – With regard to “A new leader might finally be born” (A Fresh Perspective, May 9), the problem is not a failure to offer an alternative. The failure is in needing an alternative.
The actions, as well as the lack thereof, by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speak for themselves. No one forced him to accept the legitimacy of a fake Palestinian people with rights to the Jewish land. He could have walked away from the Pandora’s box he opened with his Bar-Ilan speech as soon as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas refused to abide by agreements already made.
Regarding Naftali Bennett, I am not sure he has the staying power or long-term vision. I don’t hear the strong conviction I hear from Moshe Feiglin, who has been saying for years that the land must be annexed.
Dan Illouz correctly says: “The nationalist camp has the right to have leaders who will not only talk ‘right wing’ in election campaigns, but who will also apply right-wing policies after the elections are over.”
However, we must first break the stranglehold that allows leftwing elites together with many anti-Israel organizations in Europe to dominate the discourse and encourage hostility toward those whose crime is to want to settle the land.
Sir, – Dan Illouz’s column might sound interesting, but I’m afraid he has missed one important point. Maybe it’s not lack of alternative ideas but the fact that an Israeli leader can promise anything, with the knowledge that our ridiculous electoral system means the governing coalition might not be able to allow it to be carried out.
Weak government leads to weak leaders. If we want strong government we need to ensure that coalitions are a thing of the past by increasing dramatically the minimum mandates required to hold office. Maybe at the same time we can find a way for at least some of our MKs to be directly elected, so they will represent and be responsible to us – the electors.
IAN JACOBS, Zichron Ya’acov
He gets it
Sir, – I would like to acknowledge Aharon E. Wexler for his outstanding “Just a thought on Jewish peoplehood” (Just a Thought, May 9).
Wexler outlines so perfectly what it is to be Jewish. If we all understood it like he does, we could truly live together in tolerance and respect.
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